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Upstairs at Amuse Bouche (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Contemporary European Parsons Green
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.

Small plates brasserie above a champagne bar in Parsons Green.

The direct translation of the French term ‘amuse bouche’ is ‘mouth amuser’. Quite fitting, then, as this dining room above a pub is indeed a pleaser of the palate. Follow the racy blue lighting from the street level bar to a neighbourhood fine-dining bistro that boasts inventive tasting menus at very reasonable prices.

The interior is fairly generic, with pop-art posters that line the dark walls and marble tables scattered around. It’s a strange mix of white-cloth-napkins-fancy meets chill. The lone waitress was ever so attentive and keen to talk us through the menu – very helpful, as every dish had a lovely twist in the tale. We loved the home-baked sourdough bread, complete with a creamy strawberry houmous (that didn’t taste of strawberry but was delicious nonetheless), a roasted head of garlic that you could scoop out by the spoonful and a scrappy confit duck rillette.

As it was a Sunday, we could choose between crab, octopus, guinea fowl or pork for the mains (or indeed, a bit of everything), complete with sides of wonderfully crisp tenderstem broccoli, glazed artichokes and new potatoes doused in a hazelnut confit. The flavours were rich, the textures on point and the ingredients fresh. It was dessert where our by-now high expectations were not quite met. Although inventive – think a dense fig and pistachio cake with Marmite snap and an apricot choux pastry – the flavours were bland and didn’t quite come together.

Still, for fine-dining foodies on a budget, AB is a strong choice. A word on Sunday lunch: only go if you want the place to yourself (this is when SW6 locals are packing out their gastropubs). For more buzz, go for dinner.

By: Nina Clark



Address: Upstairs, Amuse Bouche
51 Parsons Green Lane
Transport: Tube: Parsons Green
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £65.
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